I love Spanish food and it is hard to go past a good Paella when it is on the menu. But it truly is easy to make at home. Don’t be put off making Paella because you think its too much effort. You don’t even need a authentic pan, (although this might be sacriledge to a Spaniard) as my frypan was really successful. The secret is not to stir too often so that those gorgeous crunchy rice bits form at the bottom of the pan.
Once you have the sofregit prepared, which is the base of the Paella, you can whip this up in 30 minutes. I make up a batch of the sofregit and keep it in the freezer so I can make it really quickly.
You can of course add in mussels, pipis and peas – if you like them. Green Beans would also be good. We like it fairly simple with just chicken, chorizo, prawns and calamari. You could also adapt and make a Vegetarian version using mushrooms, Kipler potatoes and pumpkin. I’ve found gluten-free chorizo sausages in Coles.
One mandatory. You must seek out Spanish Paella rice. Substitutions can’t be recommended.
1 large spanish onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp sea salt
2 x 400g cans of tomatoes
200g roasted capsicums or pimentos, roughly chopped
a pinch of saffron threads
50g olive oil
Gently cook all the ingredients over a very low heat for 1 hour.
Set aside (or freeze in portions for using at another time).
Makes 3-4 cups.
3 chicken thighs
1 chorizo (gluten free)
1 cup Paella rice
1 cup sofregit base, warmed
2 cups gluten free chicken stock
1 tblspn parsley, finely chopped
8 prawns, peeled, heads off and tails left on
1 calamari tube, cut into rings
¼ tsp turmeric and a pinch of saffron, mixed in 1 tbls warm water
1 roasted capsicum cut into strips
1. Fry chicken and chorizo in olive oil in a frypan until starting to brown and set aside. You don’t need to cook through the meat 100%.
2. Add rice to the pan and stir to coat the grains.
3. Add heated sofregit and stir through the rice
4. Add stock, return chicken and chorizo and boil rapidly for 5 mins. Give a good stir a couple of times.
5. Reduce heat and cook for about 15-20mins, check on rice and test. Be careful not to stir so that the crunch rice crust forms. You want most of the liquid to disappear and be starting to get tender.
6. Cook anther 10mins (adding in the seafood, capsicum strips and parsley for last 5mins). At this point you might add a little water around the edges if it’s looking too dry and pop on lid to steam the rice and seafood.
7. Set aside with the lid on to rest for 5mins before serving.